The Watershed Team
To build solutions that build solutions, we need a variety of perspectives. This is why we have curated a team of scientists, artists, philosophers, activists, entrepreneurs, designers, producers, writers and engineers. Sometimes we hold conflicting beliefs at once—this makes us stronger, too.
Ayomide (Aday) Sami-Orungbe
Ayomide, fondly known as Aday, is your friendly neighborhood ‘desigineer’ (designer + engineer). She is a trained human factors engineer and design strategist with a passion for user-centered design and sustainable project development. Her mission is to help people navigate wicked problems and complex systems through a collaborative and iterative design approach.
As a Process Designer at Watershed Partners, she helps design workflows and processes that create an environment to foster engagement and co-creation. She aims to help clients understand complex systems, discover new possibilities, and solve unique problems.
Most recently, Aday was a Design Lead for the TRV Journey lab within Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. Prior to that, she has held various visual, creative, and experience design roles. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Industrial Engineering and M.Des. in Strategic Foresight and Innovation.
Jonathan believes that solving complex problems requires big picture thinking and a keen commitment to collaboration across interdisciplinary relationships. As a Relationship Manager at Watershed Partners, Jonathan offers strategic and contextual support on projects and processes.
Jonathan holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa. He has experience in various government and non-for-profit spaces, and is passionate about researching law, policy, and governance at the crossroads of social change.
Jonathan grew up on the north shore of Lake Superior and is a loyal Jays fan.
Julia Monaghan is a values-driven organizational development practitioner. Her work focuses on advancing organizational change and transformation in a way that centers the human experience and promotes a values-aligned organizational culture. As a Transformation Lead at Watershed Partners, she contributes to the ongoing evolution of Watershed’s practice, while also designing and leading collaborative engagements with client-partners.
Prior to joining Watershed, Julia worked at TSNE MissionWorks in Boston, MA, where she partnered with New England-area nonprofits and foundations to support team, organization, and systems-level development and transformation. Previously, she led the capacity building practice at Pathfinder International, where she supported a values-based approach to partnering with and advancing the efforts of governments and NGOs across sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia in facilitating equitable access to sexual and reproductive health programs and services.
Julia holds a Master of Science in Organization Development from American University in Washington DC.
Information Technology Operations Manager
As Watershed Partner’s Information Technology Operations Manager, Brayden leverages his blended experience in human resources and operations to streamline and manage our team’s tech tools and systems. He knows that the best way to help others succeed is by adopting a teacher’s mindset and prioritizing employee experience, and looks forward to creating an effective workplace environment for our team’s shared success. Besides fixing things, Brayden enjoys playing soccer, cooking, and spending time with his family.
Dane is a seasoned cross-sectoral executive, scholar, and strategist. He has a mind for new opportunities and bold ideas, but knows not to shortchange the details. As Executive Director of Watershed Partners USA, Dane leads strategic activities in the United States and within international systems, focusing on building durable relationships and identifying new pathways to lasting change.
Prior to Watershed, Dane spent 20 years in leadership posts at several major international organizations, working at the nexus of policy, philanthropy, academia, and the private sector. He has also served as an advisor to numerous political campaigns in the U.S. Throughout his work, he has lived in 7 countries, with experience in another 60 countries on 5 continents.
Dane holds a B.A. in Political Science from Davidson College and an M.A. in International Relations from Princeton University. He is also fluent in French, and conversant in Mandarin and Spanish.
Tamara is a strategic thinker who always looks for the bigger picture. By connecting the dots between multidisciplinary systems, she ensures that projects are designed with broad thinking around the relationships between problems and their root cause(s). As a Relationship Lead at Watershed Partners, she focuses on navigating complex systems and relationships to find strategic pathways to explore new and better possibilities.
Tamara has worked in local and Provincial government in Canada and in Australia for over 10 years, advising on strategic portfolios aimed at improving social service delivery, affordable housing, community safety and well-being, and Indigenous reconciliation. Passionate about people, Tamara sees collaboration as the key to unlocking progress towards positive change in the world.
Scott is Kanien’kehàka (Mohawk) from the Six Nations of the Grand River and has been active both personally and professionally in enacting meaningful change through mainstream and Indigenous political systems throughout his career.
Over the past 15 years, he has worked with and advised National and Provincial Indigenous leadership on building relationships with government, as well as the Exploration industry and Ministers and Premiers on working with, addressing issues, and building lasting relationships with Indigenous communities for the mutual benefit of all peoples.
After all the politics though, Scott indulges in music, film, and television. Little known is that Scott played lacrosse for 20 years and can share a few stories on the rough and tumble sport (of lacrosse) and maybe even a couple on politics.
Advisory Portfolio Manager
Heather has several years of experience as a Process Facilitator with Watershed Partners, including a past life as a project manager for large-scale events. She cuts through complexity and brings a calm, focussed energy to her work in order to find the best framework, design and process to tackle those sticky problems. Heather excels at helping organizations internalize strategic priorities and understands how to effectively steer projects and involve key stakeholders at the appropriate time. She has worked across different cultures, sectors and contexts with a variety of stakeholders including public & private sector, educators, board-driven organizations, and Fortune 500’s and is comfortable working in her home base of Victoria, or abroad.
Tyl van Toorn
With a passion for learning, Tyl questions the rules by which we play. He focuses on assembling new combinations of knowledge, capability and skill to improve cross-systemic communication, multi-stakeholder alignment and strategy design. Tyl has a knack for recognizing talent and capacity, and for curating the right people for transformational conversations that lead to powerful outcomes. Using a synthesis of collaborative design practices with hi-touch methodologies and custom-built digital solutions, he and his team are responsible for growing the firm into a globally relevant lever for positive change.
Tyl co-founded several successful companies including TNT Productions Inc., transmitNOW (www.transmitnow.com), Fantan Group, and most recently, Watershed Partners. Through these companies, Tyl created and managed hundreds of internal, B2B, and B2C projects across North America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
As a participatory futurist and designer, Kelly finds meaning in creating the conditions for individuals to step out of their day-to-day and collaborate in highly diverse teams to perceive and affect change. Using the tools of collaborative design, systems thinking and strategic foresight, she helps organizations build capacity to navigate and transform in uncertain times.
Over the past 7 years, she has facilitated transformation journeys for private and public sector clients in Germany, Japan, USA and Canada. Kelly holds a Master’s of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation and is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists.
Prior to Watershed, she led the Strategic Foresight practice at Kalypso, a professional services firm focused on end-to-end product development.
Fred is passionate about delivering organizational transformations from a hybrid creative and strategic perspective.
Motivated by a need to solve problems, Fred thrives when confronted with complexity. Whether delivering a project, managing relationships, or defining a process, he relies on collaboration and thoughtful communication to arrive at solutions.
Professionally, Fred has delivered large-scale transformation projects, both from a creative perspective and a strategic advisory role. He believes that effective solutions can only be achieved through thoughtful collaboration that involves a diversity of voices, perspectives, and experiences.
Trained in architecture and landscape architecture at University of Toronto, Cornell University, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Fred understands the inherent complexity of global systems. He views each component of the world as something that must be understood through broader political, economic, and environmental processes.
Mike is passionate about using his dynamic skills and education to address the complex problems our species is facing both now and in the future. He believes in the importance of leveraging multiple methods and lenses to approach each challenge, while integrating prudent process management throughout every journey.
As an Engagement Manager, he supports in building strong relationships, strengthening collaboration, and delivering value.
Before joining Watershed Partners, Mike spent time in IT and Product Departments in the Financial Services space. These experiences, paired with a Master’s in Strategic Foresight and Innovation Design from OCAD University, make him very excited to be part of the team.
Tabatha is passionate about helping people come together to understand complex systems, discover possibilities, and problem solve. As a Design Lead at Watershed Partners, she focuses on developing asynchronous design experiences and fostering engagement. Tabatha has spent the last seven years designing dynamic and interactive opportunities for participants to learn and co-create. Through her most recent work, she developed custom-designed serious games to help break taboos and create safe spaces for meaningful dialogue and shared learning. Prior to this, Tabatha spent almost a decade in the public service with positions at the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Environment Canada, Public Safety Canada, and Policy Horizons Canada.
People Operations Manager
Jennifer is a seasoned Human Resources professional with a career that spans a variety of sectors, from nation-wide corporations to scrappy startups. With the belief and understanding that employees are the most valuable asset in any organization, Jennifer places the utmost importance on making sure that people don’t just feel heard—they are heard. The workplace as we’ve known it is evolving. Regardless, taking the time to build meaningful and trusting relationships is a crucial element in creating an inclusive and supportive workplace. Jennifer is excited about the future of People Operations, and its role within a flourishing team at Watershed.
As a Data Humanist at Watershed Partners, Angie’s goal is to make data accessible, insightful, and actionable so that it can be used as a force multiplier to tackle the world’s wickedly complex problems.
She is guided by her desire to shift our relationship with data to be in service of humanity, our communities, the planet, and collective liberation, and feels at home at the intersection of data, design, and dialogue. Angie draws on her global experiences working across various sectors, including for-profit, social enterprise, healthcare, post-secondary education, and not-for-profit. This dynamic background allows her to leverage multiple perspectives when developing human-centered and systems-based solutions that build empathy and collaboration, with and for people.
It is the women that came before Bonnie Leask that impels her to continually ask questions about the systems that impact First Nation people. She has spent most of her career challenging the system and comes to the conclusion it’s all broken but the ever present North Star of the journey is the relationships she has developed along the way signal a real energy for change. Leaning and drawing from life experiences – personal & professional – she is on a path of finding a way that is inclusive, responsible and respectful for all citizens.
Bonnie Leask is a proud auntie, is kinda classy and kinda rez. Bonnie is a member of Muskeg Lake Cree Nation.
Catherine is an advisory consultant with a niche in project management, change management and business transformation. A skilled communicator, she builds strong relationships with stakeholders and delivers effectively under pressure. Catherine’s Bachelor’s in Engineering and MBA from Cornell-Queens inform her contextual fluency throughout a wide cross-section of corporate ventures, as well as government initiatives. Her sincere and passionate drive for continuous improvement is evidenced by her innovative and market-leading contributions to organizations, and in her active roles in coaching and mentoring amongst her network.
Jordan Peterson is dedicated to supporting strong, thriving Indigenous communities. Jordan served as the elected Deputy Grand Chief/Vice President of the Gwich’in Tribal Council from August 2016 to September 2020 where he worked every day to advance self-determination and a new relationship with Canada. He is currently the Director of Intergovernmental Relations and Governance for the Vuntut Gwitchin Government and is responsible for a broad and complex portfolio including oversight and coordination of implementing the Vuntut Gwitchin Final and Self-Government Agreements. Jordan also founded Affinity North, served as a board member on the Indigenous Peoples Secretariat and served as the Senior Arctic Official for Gwich’in Council International (GCI) at the Arctic Council Executive and was a board member on GCI, one of six permanent participants of the Arctic Council from 2014 to 2020.
Dan Pujdak is driven to find solutions to tough problems. Prior to joining Watershed as Executive Lead, Dan served as Director of Policy to Canada’s Minister of Crown – Indigenous Relations and as Senior Advisor for Intergovernmental Relations and Strategic Policy to the Ontario Regional Chief.
Dan is also a Senior Fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.
Dan was raised on Long Island, New York. He is a loyal Mets fan.
Strategic Communications, Advisor
Yara believes that communication is a powerful form of social action.
Driven by the understanding that perceptions and narratives are building blocks that construct our realities, she is invested in the art and science of storytelling to better serve communities and build equitable, effective systems.
Yara’s interdisciplinary background includes working in tech, higher education, grassroots youth-led organizations, and the nonprofit sector. She also holds a Master of Science in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics, and an Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science from McMaster University. For Yara, these diverse experiences have validated the importance of research, critical thinking, and creative inquiry in developing communications and engaging in meaningful, collective problem solving.
As a Strategic Communications Advisor at Watershed Partners, she collaborates in designing and delivering Watershed’s story, and supports clients along their own unique communications journeys.
John Hibble is a Transformation Lead at Watershed Partners.
John is passionate and endlessly curious about how we use collaboration, design and facilitation in service of systems change. His work is fuelled by the design challenge: “How might we ‘go upstream’ to change the odds within systems that are at odds with the people they’re intended to serve?”. John is very happy in the messiness and uncertainty of complex problem spaces and the collaboration, experimentation and flexibility that’s needed to operate within them.
John is a world class educator, coach, designer and facilitator of collaborative processes. An engineer by training, he had a 12 year banking career in Australia where he began his work in collaboration design and facilitation. Since then he has worked with many public sector and public purpose organizations in Australia at all levels of government on issues ranging from climate change response, domestic energy policy, public sector transformation and public sector innovation.
Michele is passionate about understanding the forces that shape our world. She enjoys working with people to find solutions to difficult problems. Michele has delivered large business transformation programs and large-scale technology solutions into complex telecommunications networks. These experiences have led her to seek to understand the secrets that lie within the creative processes and forces of nature, and how these energies can be used to drive solutions forward.
Michele excels at delivery. Delivering solutions that matter inspire her to continually expand her knowledge and challenge long held beliefs that may no longer apply. She has worked on projects across the globe, in both the private and public sectors.
Lynda Tarras is an executive and leadership coach, a business consultant, and a mentor for developing leaders. She is working with Watershed’s Core Leadership Team on a development program to help build transformational leadership skills for Watershed and its partner organizations.
Lynda Tarras was formerly the Deputy Minister of the Public Service Agency. As Deputy Minister, she facilitated the development and implementation of several high-profile strategies which received national recognition, including Being the Best, the first corporate HR plan for the BC Public Service, and Leading the Best, the Executive Development and Succession strategy for BC’s top Executive leaders.
Throughout her career, Lynda has been a change agent and a lifelong learner. She’s led large organizational design and business transformation projects; developed change management plans for major business and systems implementations; negotiated multi-million dollar outsourcing contracts; supported the public response to a number of high profile and sensitive issues; and trained, advised and coached business leaders from front line leaders to executives and politicians. Through her experience she’s gathered a number of tools and techniques that she now shares with others to help them shape, change, and grow as leaders within their own organizations.
Lynda holds a Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching from the Naveen Jindal School of Business at the University of Texas at Dallas and is certified by the International Coaching Federation. She is also certified by CreatingWE® Institute as a Conversational Intelligence® coach.
Head of Advisory
Charlie’s aim is to increase the capacity and capability of organizations to survive and thrive in today’s rapidly changing, complex environment.
He has an award-winning consulting career and over a decade of experience in using collaborative design to both increase speed to value and reduce risk.
The feedback Charlie regularly receives from his clients is that his unique approach unlocks organizational potential to deliver results that they didn’t think were possible.
“We’ve achieved months of work that we never thought we’d be able to do together in a matter of days” is the value proposition Charlie brings and consistently delivers on.
Anna is a graphic designer, holding a Bachelor of Design from York University and Sheridan College. Endlessly curious, she’s passionate about using design to communicate and simplify big, complicated ideas. She and has worked on projects related to sports and recreation, healthcare, travel and tourism, retail, food, events, and more.
Partner, Head of Development
Over the past 6 years, Amanda has been a critical player in making our visions a reality. Her desire to constantly learn and ability to adapt has allowed her to take on many roles in the organization such as marketing, sponsorship, contract negotiations, financial management, large-scale event execution and facilitation. While Amanda is more than capable of producing events with over 50,000 attendees, she finds much more fulfillment coordinating intimate transformational engagements for less than 200 participants.
The challenge of figuring out problems that arise in accounting and logistics is what keeps Emma excited to come to work as our Finance and Administration Coordinator. Emma is island born and moved back to start her family. Having an interesting work history from modeling to jewelry making, she saw Watershed Partners as an opportunity to continue to organize the world, in an interesting and stimulating way.E
Duncan is an entrepreneur, investor, and, most recently, collaborative design practitioner. Prior to joining Watershed Partners, he ran a software company, as well as worked closely with his family office on private equity and real estate investment, all of which gave him opportunities to delve deeply into the study of change management, organizational culture, and collaboration. He is the President and co-founder of what is now Watershed Partners.
Corporate Communications Manager
Celia is the Corporate Communications Manager at Watershed Partners where she manages and develops creative communications approaches and products for a variety of audiences and platforms. As a core member of the strategic communications team, she focuses on translating complex ideas into formats that are accessible and engaging.
She has applied her experience in visual and written communications across public, private, and non-profit sector projects.
Celia holds a Bachelor of Design in Communication Design from Emily Carr University.
Research and Data Scientist
With a background in research science and experience in fields ranging from growing bacteria to studying quantum particles, Adam thrives on finding answers to challenging questions. As the Data Scientist at Watershed, Adam is immersed in the space where numbers, language and culture combine. He is passionate about bringing data into context and turning contexts into data.
Sonia is passionate about using design practices across disciplines, scales, and mediums to understand and address complex problems. She holds a Bachelor of Biological Sciences, and is currently completing an M.Des. in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCADU. She brings insights from the fields of education, sustainability, health care, and equity, through her work in strategic communications and community organizing. Sonia values deeply understanding problems through design research and systems thinking. She has a special interest in how we might leverage design to create systems that better holistically support people in leading fulfilling lives.
Partner, Head of Finance
With a background in finance and administration, our Finance Manager Jacqueline oversees the financial management at Watershed Partners. She enjoys the energy of the creative industries and aims to create simple and organized systems that maximize efficiencies in a dynamic environment. When she’s not driving her way through the world of finance and administration, you’ll find her looking for new recipes to try and places to explore.
Learning and Development
Todd’s focus is designing and facilitating processes that enable people to work together in ways that release collaborative intelligence, foster mutual learning and influence the emergence of new possibilities and sensemaking in tackling complex social challenges.
Office Manager, East Coast
An experienced Office Manager and Human Resources Administrator with 10 years’ experience, from agency’s to startups. Amanda always goes out of her way to make sure people are heard, supported, and cared for. She is a direct communicator and can always be counted on to stay on top of things that others usually let slip through the cracks. Raised outside of Toronto, Amanda has a love of the outdoors. When in the city she is part of an axe throwing league.
Khush Dhaliwal is a Watershed trained facilitator and has a broad range of experience in problem-solving and collaborative processes resulting in strategy based outcomes. She has expanded her overall exposure to multi-stakeholder alignment and helping individuals and organizations to make meaningful transitions that align with current business practices. She has worked with a wide array of business partners including the Canadian government, First Nations, and international private entities that further contribute to her communication and leadership skills.
Gail brings more than five decades experience of group facilitation, instructional design and experiential learning to Tomorrow Makers. Her work, philosophy and awards in education expanded to the business and government communities when she and her husband, Matt Taylor, co-founded MG Taylor Corporation. Together, they blended their talents and created a system of collaborative environments, work processes and tools to catalyze breakthrough and innovation in high-performance teams. . Their system is able to engage hundreds of people together to create, design and implement higher order solutions in remarkably short periods of time and reach well beyond conflict resolution and compromise.
In 2002 Gail created Tomorrow Makers, a non-profit corporation developed to work with communities to help bring about the social transformations. Gail, on behalf of Tomorrow Makers, partners with Watershed Partners to work on projects primarily focused on multi-generational thinking and planning.